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Volume 10 No. 25

Marketing and Sponsorship

A video circulating on the Internet "could cause Lionel Messi to be sanctioned by Pepsi," according to EL COLOMBIANO. The video shows Messi and his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, at a restaurant drinking Coca-Cola. Messi is sponsored by Pepsi. If the four-time Ballon d'Or winner's contract with the company has a clause stating he can not drink Coca-Cola in public, "he could lose the sponsorship." A similar case occured last year when Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho lost his $750,000-a-year sponsorship with Coca-Cola after "being seen with a Pepsi can" (EL COLOMBIANO, 1/18). ECODIARIO noted the video "was apparently not taken with any bad intentions" by a fan giving the jersey of his club team, Brazil's Vitória, as a gift to the player. Pepsi could decide to end its multi-million Euro sponsorship with the player "due to the bad image of the player consuming in his private life the product of the brand's most important rival and competitor" (ECODIARIO, 1/19).

The Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) has agreed to new partnership deal with German insurance company Allianz to become the league's official youth and insurance partner. The new partnership, which will run through June '15, will focus on the development of a social media page on Facebook targeted toward youth basketball players. All teams in Germany's two youth Bundesligas NBBL (U19) and JBBL (U16) will feature Allianz's logo on its jerseys. In addition, Allianz was present at the BBL All-Star Day on Saturday in Nuremberg with baseline-branding underneath the baskets, on an LED board in camera view and with commercial spots on the arena's video screen (BBL).

Brasileiro club Botafogo has "renewed its title sponsorship deal" with the Viton 44 group until the end of '13, according to MAQUINA DO ESPORTE. For the third consecutive season, the company will have the logo of its natural drink brand Guaraviton on the front, lower back and sleeves of the Rio de Janeiro team's jersey. The brand will also be exposed on ad boards in the team's Engenhão stadium. Viton 44 President Neville Proa spoke about the renewal of the contract. Proa: "We had very satisfying results, it is not just the jersey of a club, it's the shirt of Botafogo. A traditional team where many great players have played that has a great fan base. The growth we had over the past three years was very good throughout Brazil" (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 1/18).

Korean golfer Noh Seung-yul, entering his sophomore year on the PGA Tour, has "taken the baton from Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie to try and turn Nike Golf’s fortunes in Korea around," according to Kang Seung-woo of the KOREA TIMES. However, it remains to be seen if Nike, a late-comer to the golf business, "will see the same success it is enjoying in other sports" in Korea, like basketball and football, and "appeal to those who have the perception that its golf equipment is not of the same quality as that of more established rivals such as Titleist or Taylormade." Nike Golf Korea GM Kim Dong-ook said, "Nike put a lot of effort into finding a Korean golfer who can fit the Nike image. The Noh contract is a kind of marketing tool that Nike Golf will use in order to strengthen its presence in Korea." An official of Nike Golf Korea’s public relations team said that "the brand will be able to get closer to consumers behind the Noh deal." The official said, "Nike Golf’s commercial activity and marketing was based around foreign athletes, so there may have been a sense of distance between Korean consumers and Nike." According to the December issue of Golf Magazine Korea, Nike Golf "failed to make the top 10 in the 2012 brand marketing rankings, which Taylormade topped for the third-straight year." Kim said that "its low recognition is due to the unique characteristics of the sport in Korea rather than just its short history. However, he expects "to see Nike’s brand value grow in Korea with the sport becoming more popular." He said, "With younger people starting to play golf, the perception toward Nike Golf is gradually changing" (KOREA TIMES, 1/20).

Puma has entered a partnership with Brazilian sporting goods retail chain Centauro which it will sub-license the branding rights to four of its partnered African federations; Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal. The partnership is effective through to the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and through this deal, the four African federations will carry Centauro branding on licensed training wear, perimeter boards at training facilities and press walls. From the outset of the partnership, licensed product including replica shirts will be on sale in Centauro stores in Brazil. Puma and Centauro will work closely together to activate a marketing campaign in which Ivory Coast and Man City midfielder Yaya Touré will feature. The Puma sponsored footballer and CAF African Player of the Year for '11 and '12, will feature within ATL and BTL campaigns to promote the availability of the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal replica kits and licensed product within Centauro stores (Puma). MAQUINADOESPORTE reported terms of the deal were not disclosed. Puma Commercial Dir Stefano Caroti said, "African football is experiencing a growing profile and credibility in Latin America, a region with an expanding market and clear commercial opportunities to capitalize on the demand of consumers for licensed product" (MAQUINADOESPORTE, 1/18).

ManU has signed a three-year sponsorship with Japanese paint manufacturer Kansai. Kansai, which was founded in 1918 and currently ranks as the top paint brand in Japan and Africa, becomes ManU's first "official paint partner" (Chris Botta, SportsBusiness Journal). ... Premier League club Aston Villa "appear to be on the look-out" for a new club sponsor as its two-year deal with Genting comes to an end. The Birmingham club will be in the market for a new commercial partner as its current £16M ($25.4M) deal expires in the summer (London DAILY MAIL, 1/20). ... Telecom company Globacom will become the title sponsor of the Nigeria Premier League starting on Feb. 1. NPL and Globacom will enter into a four-year title partnership deal worth N2.6 billion ($41M) (ISPORTSCONNECT, 1/18). ... Brazilian surfer Gabriela Medina has agreed to a sponsorship deal with Oakley for the next three years (MAQUINA DO ESPORTE, 1/18) ... . German 3rd League side Wacker Burghausen has revealed that engineering and construction company M+W Germany has ended its sponsorship deal with the club. Instead of M+W's logo, the team's jersey will feature the slogan "sei wacker!" (be wacker!) on its sleeve. The club is already in talks with various partners about an expansion of their sponsorships (Wacker Burghausen). ... German sportswear company Jako has signed triathlete Daniel Unger as a brand ambassador (Jako).